Having stunned Roger Federer in the fourth round of the Australian Open, Tsitsipas will take on Rafael Nadal on Thursday for a place in the final, a task that if not quite Herculean, is not far off it.
On clay, a different story
But if there is one thing you can say about Tsitsipas is that he does not lack for belief. “I played him once, once on clay, once hard court. I felt very close to beating him in Toronto, though the score was 6-2, 7-6. I remember coming back to the locker room and promising to myself I'm going to do much better against him next time. It felt like I understood a bit better what he was doing on the court after that match, and especially on hard court.
“On clay, it was a different story. I felt like I had no chance after losing in Barcelona 6-1, 6-2. I felt like he's on completely another level on clay than on hard. It's going to be interesting. I feel all right with my game. I feel like I can do something good against him.”
For a man who lost in the first round on his only previous visit to Melbourne, that’s some statement but Tsitsipas has shown over the past year that he is a man who is headed for the top. His win over Federer, the record grand-slam holder, in the fourth round was a statement of intent and he avoided the dreaded let-down with victory over Roberto Bautista-Agut of Spain in the quarter-finals.